Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era (end of year update, 2011)

Posted on Monday, April 9, 2012 at 11:37PM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution | Comments6 Comments

Philippe Gilbert on his way to victory in the 2011 Fleche Wallone.(Photo credit: Cycling Weekly) I'm sorry it's taken me so long to update the standings, but the lengthy resolution to the the Contador case really took the wind out of my sails.  I can't complain about the final outcome, but the way the ban was implemented really left a bitter taste in my mouth.  The rules must be changed to avoid this situation in the future.  I'd have preferred that CAS had stripped Alberto of his 2010 Tour and let his results after he was cleared by his national federation stand. Of course, that would have resulted in an extension of his ban past the 2012 racing year, but I find that preferable to rewriting history and pretending that he didn't win all the following: '11 Volta a Catalunya, '11 Giro, '11 Giro points competition, and two stages of '11 Giro. Michele Scarponi is the primary recipient of the revisionist history (he is awarded the win for the '11 Volta, and both the Giro overall and points competition), but all the following also pick up some of Alberto's lost points: Andy Schleck, Denis Menchov, Samual Sanchez, Vincenzo Nibali, John Gadret, and Jose Rujano. 

As a result of Contador's stripped results, he now drops out of the Top 25 (from #24 to #29), and Greg LeMond now moves back on to the list at #25.

Mark Cavendish, Cadel Evans, and Philippe Gilbert all had big years, and all have rocketed up the standings. Both Cav and Gilbert are new entrants to the Top 100, and as such, have nudged Raymond Impanis and Johan Van der Velde off of the list - Cav debuts at #55 and Gilbert at #65. Evans moves all the way from #86 to #54 after his '11 Tour victory, and with his victory in this year's Criterium International, he already has enough points to move into the Top 50. 

2011 also saw Robbie McEwen finally collect his 200th career road victory and receive a huge 10 point bonus; he moves from #72 to #58.

Andy Schleck makes his debut on the Top 100 by slotting in at #94; the points he picked up from being declared the winner of the '10 Tour, and his runner up position in the '11 Tour, furnished the additional points needed to make the jump in the rankings.

Tom Boonen moved from #50 to #47, compliments of his win in the '11 Gent-Wevelgem. Last Sunday (April 8, 2012), Tommeke completed one of the greatest spring campaigns of all time by winning Paris-Roubiaix; this after already taking the top step of the podium in E3, Gent-Wevelgem, and Flanders. In the process, Boonen has also claimed his share of the record for most wins in both Flanders (joining Achiel Buysse, Firorenzo Magni, Eric Leman, and Johan Museeuw, all with three wins) and Paris-Roubaix (tied for four victories with Roger de Vlaeminck). These milestones also earned him seven additional points, and as of today he'd end up moving all the way to the 27th spot. The season has a long way to go, so he may yet make further progress before the next update to the list.  It's a pretty safe bet that Tornado Tom will be moving into the Top 25 by the end of his career, as he now only needs four additional points to get there.  

Also worth mentioning is that Andreas Kloden recieved an official rank by taking the win at the '11 Tour of the the Basque Country, and he now sits at #108.  

For those who want to know more about how point totals are assigned and which races are included in this ranking system, please visit the Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era section of this website

The Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era (as of 12/31/11)  

        The Top 25                                        Points    Raw Score   Country             *Wins        Career

1.     Eddy Merckx 410.5 290.5          Belgium 445           65-78
2.     Bernard Hinault 232.5 165.5          France 215           75-86
3.     Fausto Coppi 219.5 144.5          Italy 149           39-59
4.     Gino Bartali 213.0 144.5          Italy 91           35-54
5.     Jacques Anquetil 184.0 157.0          France 184           54-69
6.     Rik Van Looy 152.0 107.0          Belgium 365           53-70
7.     Sean Kelly 146.5 126.5          Ireland 194           77-94
8.     Roger De Vlaeminck 139.5 100.5          Belgium 257           69-84
9.     Francesco Moser 131.5 111.5          Italy 194           73-88
10.   Lance Armstrong 116.5 93.5          USA 91           92-10
11.   Felice Gimondi 114.0 92.0          Italy 63           65-79
12.   Louison Bobet 109.5 87.5          France 122           47-61
13.   Miguel Indurain 98.0 98.0          Spain 132           84-96
14.   Freddy Maertens 97.5 87.5          Belgium 142           72-85
15.   Ferdi Kubler 96.0 68.0          Switzerland 65           40-57
16.   Joop Zoetemelk 91.5 81.5          Netherlands 214           70-87
17.   Tony Rominger 89.5 85.5          Switzerland 115           86-97
18.   Laurent Jalabert 88.5 78.5          France 176           89-02
19.   Fiorenzo Magni 87.0 63.0          Italy 47           41-56
20.   Giuseppe Saronni 83.0 83.0          Italy 129           77-89
21.   Erik Zabel 82.0 62.0          Germany 211           92-08
22.   Rik Van Steenbergen 73.5 62.5          Belgium 105           43-66
23.   Raymond Poulidor 69.0 69.0          France 189           60-77
24.   Jan Janssen 65.0 53.0          Netherlands 57           62-72
25.   Greg LeMond 65.0 52.0          USA 42           81-94

 

     Cyclists 26-50                                    Points     Raw Score     Country             Wins       Career

26.   Mario Cipollini 63.5 53.5          Italy 191          89-05
27.   Luis Ocana 59.5 59.5          Spain 118          68-77
28.   Laurent Fignon 58.5 58.5          France 81          82-93
29.   Alberto Contador 57.0 45.0          Spain 61          03-present
30.   Franco Bitossi 56.0 56.0          Italy 90          61-78
31.   Federico Bahamontes 55.5 45.5          Spain 74          54-65
32.   Johan Museeuw 54.0 54.0          Belgium 104          88-04
33.   Paolo Bettini 54.0 54.0          Italy 63          97-08
34.   Charly Gaul 53.5 53.5          Luxembourg 52          53-65
35.   Jan Ullrich 53.0 53.0          Germany 65          94-06
36.   Jan Raas 51.0 51.0          Netherlands 115          75-85
37.   Lucien Van Impe 50.0 40.0          Belgium 65          69-87
38.   Moreno Argentin 48.5 48.5          Italy 86          80-94
39.   Stephen Roche 48.5 48.5          Ireland 58          81-93
40.   Hugo Koblet 48.0 48.0          Switzerland 70          46-58
41.   Claudio Chiapucci 48.0 48.0          Italy 58          85-98
42.   Gianni Bugno 47.5 47.5          Italy 76          85-98
43.   Alessandro Petacchi 47.0 37.0          Italy 166          96-present
44.   Alberic Schotte 46.5 37.5          Belgium 31          40-59
45.   Alex Zulle 46.0 46.0          Switzerland 68          91-04
46.   Oscar Freire 44.5 40.5          Spain 86          98-present
47.   Tom Boonen 44.0 44.0          Belgium 111          02-present
48.   Michele Bartoli 44.0 44.0          Italy 57          93-04
49.   Bernard Thevenet 43.0 43.0          France 100          70-81
50.   Walter Godefroot 42.5 42.5          Belgium 152          65-79

 

Cyclists 51-75                                         Points     Raw Score       Country             Wins     Career

51.   Herman Van Springel 41.5 41.5          Belgium 138       65-81
52.   Charly Mottet 41.0 41.0          France 67       83-94
53.   Alejandro Valverde 40.0 40.0          Spain 73       02-present
54.   Cadel Evans 40.0 40.0          Australia 35       99-present
55.   Mark Cavendish 40.0 30.0          Isle of Man 92       05-present
56.   Fabian Cancellara 39.5 39.5          Switzerland  79       01-present
57.   Delio Rodriguez Barros 38.5 28.5          Spain 138       39-49
58.   Robbie McEwen 38.0 28.0          Australia 206       96-present
59.   Stan Ockers 37.5 31.5          Belgium 22       41-56
60.   Fred De Bruyne 37.0 37.0          Belgium 25       53-61
61.   Vittorio Adorni 36.5 36.5          Italy 62       61-70
62.   Alexandre Vinokourov 35.0 35.0          Kazakhstan 68       98-present
63.   Pedro Delgado 34.5 34.5          Spain 49       82-94
64.   Danilo Di Luca 34.0 34.0          Italy 65       98-present
65.   Philippe Gilbert 34.0 34.0          Belgium 62       02-present
66.   Jose Manuel Fuente 32.5 32.5          Spain 26       70-76
67.   Hennie Kuiper 31.5 31.5          Netherlands 81       73-88
68.   Andre Darrigade 31.0 31.0          France 124       51-66
69.   Marco Pantani 31.0 31.0          Italy 35       93-03
70.   Gianni Motta 30.5 30.5          Italy 92       64-74
71.   Rudi Altig 30.0 30.0          Germany 47       60-71
72.   Gilberto Simoni 30.0 30.0          Italy 39       94-10
73.   Gianbattista Baronchelli 29.5 29.5          Italy 75       74-89
74.   Gerrie Knetemann 29.0 29.0          Netherlands 130       74-89
75.   Jean Stablinski 28.5 28.5          France 105       53-68


         
   

   

  Cyclists 76-100                                  Points        Raw Score      Country              Wins    Career

76.   Michel Pollentier 28.0 28.0          Belgium 83       73-84
77.   Ercole Baldini 28.0 28.0          Italy 67       57-64
78.   Roberto Heras 28.0 24.0          Spain 25       95-05
79.   Pascal Richard 27.0 27.0          Switzerland 68       86-00
80.   Nino Defilippis 27.0 27.0          Italy 60       52-64
81.   Davide Rebellin 27.0 27.0          Italy 55       92-present
82.   Richard Virenque 27.0 27.0          France 46       91-04
83.   Abraham Olano 26.5 26.5          Spain 63       92-02
84.   Denis Menchov 26.5 26.5          Russia 21       00-present
85.   Francesco Casagrande 26.0 26.0          Italy 49       93-05
86.   Damiano Cunego 26.0 26.0          Italy 47       02-present
87.   Stefano Garzelli 26.0 26.0          Italy 34       97-present
88.   Guido Bontempi 25.0 25.0          Italy 78       81-95
89.   Claude Criquielion 25.0 25.0          Belgium 57       79-91
90.   Ivan Basso  25.0 25.0          Italy 54       99-present
91.   Phil Anderson 24.5 24.5          Australia 86       80-94
92.   Marino Lejarreta 24.5 24.5          Spain 63       79-92
93.   Adri van der Poel 24.5 24.5          Netherlands 102       81-00
94.   Andy Schleck 24.5 24.5          Luxembourg 23       04-present
95.   Marino Basso 24.0 24.0          Italy 71       66-78
96.   Julian Berrendero 24.0 24.0          Spain 50       35-49
97.   Franco Balmamion 24.0 24.0          Italy 16       61-72
98.   Dietrich Thurau 23.5 23.5          Germany 82       75-88
99.   Miguel Poblet 23.5 23.5          Spain 62       44-62
100. Rolf Sorensen 23.5 23.5          Denmark 56       86-02

 

Just missed the cutoff                             Points     Raw Score        Country              Wins   Career

101. Raymond Impanis 23.5 23.5          Belgium 24       47-63
102. Johan Van der Velde 23.0 23.0          Netherlands 68       78-90
103. Pavel Tonkov 23.0 23.0          Russia 36       92-05
104. Julio Jimenez Munoz 23.0 23.0          Spain 34       59-69
105. Eric Vanderaerden 22.5 22.5          Belgium 138       83-96
106. Eddy Plankaert 22.5 22.5          Belgium 103       80-91
107. Gastone Nencini 22.5 22.5          Italy 23       53-65
108. Andreas Kloden 22.5 22.5          Germany 23       98-present
109. Carlos Sastre 22.5 22.5          Spain 14       97-11
110. Michele Dancelli 22.0 22.0          Italy 80       63-74
111. Thor Hushovd 22.0 22.0          Norway 72       00-present
112. Jo de Roo 22.0 22.0          Netherlands 50       58-68
113. Roger Pingeon 22.0 22.0          France 15       65-74
114. Erik Breukink 21.5 21.5          Netherlands 61       85-97
115. Djamolidine Abdoujaparov 21.5 21.5          Uzbekistan 54       90-97
116. Luis Herrera 21.5 21.5          Colombia 30       85-92
117. Paolo Salvodelli 21.5 21.5          Italy 22       96-08
118. Domingo Perurena 21.0 21.0          Spain 141       66-79
119. Guido Bontempi 21.0 21.0          Italy 78       81-95
120. Maurizio Fondriest 21.0 21.0          Italy 70       87-98

 

Active, but without an official rank               Points     Raw Score      Country              Wins      Career

Frank Schleck 16.0 16.0          Luxembourg 27       00-present
Jens Voigt 13.5 13.5          Germany 80       97-present
Joaquin Rodriguez 13.5 13.5          Spain 26       01-present
Michele Scarponi 13.5 13.5          Italy 24       02-present
Levi Leipheimer 13.0 13.0          USA     67       97-present
Samuel Sanchez  13.0 13.0          Spain 34       04-present
Filippo Pozzato 12.5 12.5          Italy 47       00-present
Vincenzo Nibali 10.5 10.5          Italy 19       05-present
Alessandro Ballan 10.5 10.5          Italy 12       04-present
Tyler Farrar 6.5 6.5          USA 42       03-present

 

*Road wins only

Philippe Gilbert photo credit: Cycling Weekly

 

2011 Top 100 Update and my take on the Contador case.

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 08:59PM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution | Comments2 Comments

Sorry to leave you all hanging for so long, but there is no way in hell I'm going through the effort of updating the rankings until Alberto Contador's situation is resolved. I wouldn't expect to see new rankings until September.      

In the meantime, if you'd like to check out the articles I write for my professional bike fitting business, VeloFit Revolution, you can visit my other blog. 

 Update (11/3/11): Still waiting. Maybe we'll have a final verdict on Contador's situation before the end of the year. Again, until that time comes, I won't be able to update the rankings.  

Update (1/15/12): And still we wait. Newest ETA for the Contador ruling is the end of January.  Regardless of the outcome, the process is obviously broken and needs to be changed. I'm sorry to all the loyal readers of this site for having to wait so long for the new rankings.

I'll weigh in with my opinion on this mess. Contador had Clen in his system after the 2nd rest day at the 2010 Tour. I've never heard anyone in Alberto's camp argue this point. Whether or not the drug got into his system accidentally does not change this fact; the drug was there, there is no threshold limit, and his '10 Tour title must be stripped. If I'm one of the CAS panelists, I'd give him a one year ban, strip the Tour title, and let him keep all other race results - after all, his Federation did clear him to race, and those are the rules, love them or hate them. Contador has already served the one year ban by not having raced for both the second half of 2010 and 2011, thus he should be free to race at the start of this season.  I know my scenario would not be satisfactory to either side in the debate over his guilt or innocence, but it's a compromise that could allow this drama to be put to rest once and for all.

Regardless of the outcome, I find it incredible that El Pistolero was still able to race at the highest level last season. Once he's free to ride again without the burden of an impending sanction hanging over his head, I expect him to go on a tear and break Merckx's Grand Tour record of 11 victories. I don't think it's too hard of a stretch to imagine that he could take the Tour/Vuelta or Giro/Vuelta double at least a few times for the remainder of his career. Also, despite his tired legs after attempting the Giro/Tour double last year, I'd be surprised if he doesn't attempt this at least one more time.  Based on the soundbites I've been able to piece together, Alberto seems to care about his place in the hierchy of great champions, and that's why I'm a fan. He's the first cyclist since Sean Kelly to have real shot at making the jump into the Top 5 by the end of his career.  Indurain and Armstrong might have have been capable of reaching Anquetil's point totals, but simply didn't race to win in enough high scoring races to get even close, particularly the week long stage races.  Twenty years down the road I think we'll look back on the career of Contador and come to the conclusion that he was the greatest stage racer the sport has ever seen.  I'm looking forward to witnessing history in the making, and I hope it resumes with the start of this season.     

Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era (end of year update, 2010)

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 09:30AM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution in | Comments7 Comments

I’m going to go ahead and publish the rankings for Top Cyclists of the Modern Era through the end the 2010 season now that the final point scoring race, the Giro di Lombardia, is in the books. I’d have preferred to wait until both Contador’s and Petacchi’s ongoing doping investigations run their course, but that could take months (years?).  Anyway, I have a feeling I’ll be revising the rankings, and removing some points from both “El Pistolero” and “Ale-Jet” when the dust finally settles, but enough of that unpleasantness, on with the show. 

How the points are determined and cyclists are ranked 

Maybe you’re a new visitor, or perhaps a refresher is needed, so here is a quick summary of this project/ranking system (click here if you want to view the complete archives): 

  1. Cyclists were assigned initial points based on victories in the important races on the calendar. Points were awarded to podium places, but only for the World Championship Road Race and Grand Tours.  A cyclist’s initial points serve as their “raw score.” (Click here for a complete list of races/points, Scoring, Part 1)
  2. Adjustments to a cyclist’s initial points (raw score) were given based on Significant Lifetime Achievements, certain race records, and years lost to injury, war, and illness (click here for a complete list of adjustments/points, Scoring, Part 2).
  3. Raw scores and adjustments were added together for the final total assigned points, and cyclists were then issued a numerical rank. In the event of a tie in total points, the rider with the higher raw score was ranked higher. In the event of both a tie in points and raw score, the cyclist with the higher number of total career road victories was ranked highest. 

Introducing the Top 100 

As this project nears its three year anniversary, the rankings have finally been expanded to include the Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era.  This is long overdue, and the additional research required to pull this off uncovered some glaring omissions from prior lists, most notably that of two-time Tour winner Bernard Thevenet (#48), and Delio Rodriguez (#54), the all-time record holder for stage wins at the Vuelta.

In addition to the two mentioned above, there are obviously a bunch of new cyclists added to the list – 34 to be exact.  Since some of these competed long ago, and weren’t necessarily the superstar riders of their time, even hardcore fans may discover a new name or two.  I’ve added home countries, the years in which they competed, and their total number of career road victories, which should help you get familiar with some of these great, often overlooked, champions of the past. 

There are now a much larger group of cyclists who share the same point totals.  It’s also worth mentioning that the final 25 spots are only separated by a spread of 5.5 points; a single victory in a semi-classic, or a stage win in a Grand Tour, could have moved someone up by 5-7 spots.  Many of the final positions were often determined by the ultimate tie breaker – the rider with the higher number of total career road victories.

Although I had already calculated many active riders’ point totals, the following now have an official rank, and join the Top 100: Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans, and Denis Menchov.  Other current cyclists who don't yet have a rank, but have been assigned points, can be found at the bottom of the list.

 The Top 100 Cyclists of the Modern Era  

        The Top 25                                        Points     Raw Score      Country     Road Wins  Yrs. Active

1.     Eddy Merckx 410.5 290.5          Belgium 445       65-78
2.     Bernard Hinault 232.5 165.5          France 215       75-86
3.     Fausto Coppi 219.5 144.5          Italy 149       39-59
4.     Gino Bartali 213.0 144.5          Italy 91       35-54
5.     Jacques Anquetil 184.0 157.0          France 184       54-69
6.     Rik Van Looy 152.0 107.0          Belgium 365       53-70
7.     Sean Kelly 146.5 126.5          Ireland 194       77-94
8.     Roger De Vlaeminck 139.5 100.5          Belgium 257       69-84
9.     Francesco Moser 131.5 111.5          Italy 194       73-88
10.   Lance Armstrong 116.5 93.5          USA 91       92-present
11.   Felice Gimondi 114.0 92.0          Italy 63       65-79
12.   Louison Bobet 109.5 87.5          France 122       47-61
13.   Miguel Indurain 98.0 98.0          Spain 132       84-96
14.   Freddy Maertens 97.5 87.5          Belgium 142       72-85
15.   Ferdi Kubler 96.0 68.0          Switzerland 65       40-57
16.   Joop Zoetemelk 91.5 81.5          Netherlands 214       70-87
17.   Tony Rominger 89.5 85.5          Switzerland 115       86-97
18.   Laurent Jalabert 88.5 78.5          France 176       89-02
19.   Fiorenzo Magni 87.0 63.0          Italy 47       41-56
20.   Giuseppe Saronni 83.0 83.0          Italy 129       77-89
21.   Erik Zabel 82.0 62.0          Germany 211       92-08
22.   Rik Van Steenbergen 73.5 62.5          Belgium 105       43-66
23.   Raymond Poulidor 69.0 69.0          France 189       60-77
24.   Alberto Contador 65.0 53.0          Spain 58       03-present
25.   Jan Janssen 65.0 53.0          Netherlands 57       62-72

               

        Cyclists 26-50                                   Points     Raw Score      Country      Road Wins  Yrs. Active

26.   Greg LeMond 65.0 52.0          USA 42       81-94
27.   Mario Cipollini 63.5 53.5          Italy 191       89-05
28.   Luis Ocana 59.5 59.5          Spain 118       68-77
29.   Laurent Fignon 58.5 58.5          France 81       82-93
30.   Franco Bitossi 56.0 56.0          Italy 90       61-78
31.   Federico Bahamontes 55.5 45.5          Spain 74       54-65
32.   Johan Museeuw 54.0 54.0          Belgium 104       88-04
33.   Paolo Bettini 54.0 54.0          Italy 63       97-08
34.   Charly Gaul 53.5 53.5          Luxembourg 52       53-65
35.   Jan Ullrich 53.0 53.0          Germany 65       94-06
36.   Jan Raas 51.0 51.0          Netherlands 115       75-85
37.   Lucien Van Impe 50.0 40.0          Belgium 65       69-87
38.   Moreno Argentin 48.5 48.5          Italy 86       80-94
39.   Stephen Roche 48.5 48.5          Ireland 58       81-93
40.   Hugo Koblet 48.0 48.0          Switzerland 70       46-58
41.   Claudio Chiapucci 48.0 48.0          Italy 58       85-98
42.   Gianni Bugno 47.5 47.5          Italy 76       85-98
43.   Alberic Schotte 46.5 37.5          Belgium 31       40-59
44.   Alessandro Petacchi 46.5 36.5          Italy 159       96-present
45.   Alex Zulle 46.0 46.0          Switzerland 68       91-04
46.   Oscar Freire 44.5 40.5          Spain 81       98-present
47.   Michele Bartoli 44.0 44.0          Italy 57       93-04
48.   Bernard Thevenet 43.0 43.0          France 100       70-81
49.   Walter Godefroot 42.5 42.5          Belgium 152       65-79
50.   Tom Boonen 42.0 42.0          Belgium 108       02-present

 

        Cyclists 51-75                                   Points     Raw Score      Country      Road Wins  Yrs. Active

51.   Herman Van Springel 41.5 41.5          Belgium 138       65-81
52.   Charly Mottet 41.0 41.0          France 67       83-94
53.   Alejandro Valverde 40.0 40.0          Spain 73       02-present
54.   Delio Rodriguez Barros 38.5 28.5          Spain 138       39-49
55.   Fabian Cancellara 37.5 37.5          Switzerland  72       01-present
56.   Stan Ockers 37.5 31.5          Belgium 22       41-56
57.   Fred De Bruyne 37.0 37.0          Belgium 25       53-61
58.   Vittorio Adorni 36.5 36.5          Italy 62       61-70
59.   Alexandre Vinokourov 35.0 35.0          Kazakhstan 65       98-present
60.   Pedro Delgado 34.5 34.5          Spain 49       82-94
61.   Danilo Di Luca 34.0 34.0          Italy 65       98-present
62.   Jose Manuel Fuente 32.5 32.5          Spain 26       70-76
63.   Hennie Kuiper 31.5 31.5          Netherlands 81       73-88
64.   Andre Darrigade 31.0 31.0          France 124       51-66
65.   Marco Pantani 31.0 31.0          Italy 35       93-03
66.   Gianni Motta 30.5 30.5          Italy 92       64-74
67.   Rudi Altig 30.0 30.0          Germany 47       60-71
68.   Gilberto Simoni 30.0 30.0          Italy 39       94-10
69.   Gianbattista Baronchelli 29.5 29.5          Italy 75       74-89
70.   Gerrie Knetemann 29.0 29.0          Netherlands 130       74-89
71.   Jean Stablinski 28.5 28.5          France 105       53-68
72.   Robbie McEwen 28.0 28.0          Australia 199       96-present
73.   Michel Pollentier 28.0 28.0          Belgium 83       73-84
74.   Ercole Baldini 28.0 28.0          Italy 67       57-64
75.   Roberto Heras 28.0 24.0          Spain 25       95-05

 

      Cyclists 76-100                                  Points     Raw Score      Country       Road Wins  Yrs. Active

76.   Pascal Richard 27.0 27.0          Switzerland 68       86-00
77.   Nino Defilippis 27.0 27.0          Italy 60       52-64
78.   Richard Virenque 27.0 27.0          France 46       91-04
79.   Abraham Olano 26.5 26.5          Spain 63       92-02
80,   Davide Rebellin 26.0 26.0          Italy 53       92-present
81.   Francesco Casagrande 26.0 26.0          Italy 49       93-05
82.   Damiano Cunego 26.0 26.0          Italy 44       02-present
83.   Guido Bontempi 25.0 25.0          Italy 78       81-95
84.   Claude Criquielion 25.0 25.0          Belgium 57       79-91
85.   Ivan Basso  25.0 25.0          Italy 46       99-present
86.   Cadel Evans 25.0 25.0          Australia 26       99-present
87.   Phil Anderson 24.5 24.5          Australia 86       80-94
88.   Marino Lejarreta 24.5 24.5          Spain 63       79-92
89.   Adri van der Poel 24.5 24.5          Netherlands 102       81-00
90.   Denis Menchov 24.5 24.5          Russia 20       00-present
91.   Marino Basso 24.0 24.0          Italy 71       66-78
92.   Julian Berrendero 24.0 24.0          Spain 50       35-49
93.   Franco Balmamion 24.0 24.0          Italy 16       61-72
94.   Dietrich Thurau 23.5 23.5          Germany 82       75-88
95.   Miguel Poblet 23.5 23.5          Spain 62       44-62
96.   Rolf Sorensen 23.5 23.5          Denmark 56       86-02
97.   Raymond Impanis 23.5 23.5          Belgium 24       47-63
98.   Stefano Garzelli 23.5 23.5          Italy 34       97-present
99.   Johan Van der Velde 23.0 23.0          Netherlands 68       78-90
100. Pavel Tonkov 23.0 23.0          Russia 36       92-05

 

       Just missed the cutoff                        Points     Raw Score      Country       Road Wins  Yrs. Active

101. Julio Jimenez Munoz 23.0 23.0          Spain 34       59-69
102. Eric Vanderaerden 22.5 22.5          Belgium 138       83-96
103. Eddy Plankaert 22.5 22.5          Belgium 103       80-91
104. Gastone Nencini 22.5 22.5          Italy 23       53-65
105. Carlos Sastre 22.5 22.5          Spain 13       97-present
106. Michele Dancelli 22.0 22.0          Italy 80       63-74
107. Jo de Roo 22.0 22.0          Netherlands 50       58-68
108. Roger Pingeon 22.0 22.0          France 15       65-74
109. Luis Herrera 21.5 21.5          Colombia 30       85-92
110. Paolo Salvodelli 21.5 21.5          Italy 22       96-08
111. Domingo Perurena 21.0 21.0          Spain 141       66-79
112. Maurizio Fondriest 21.0 21.0          Italy 70       87-98
113. Thor Hushovd 21.0 21.0          Norway 65       00-present
114. Marcel Kint 21.0 21.0          Belgium 31       35-51

 

Active, but without an official rank

Mark Cavendish 19.5 19.5          Isle of Man 75       05-present
Andreas Kloden 19.5 19.5          Germany 19       98-present
Andy Schleck 16.0 16.0          Luxembourg 20       04-present
Philippe Gilbert 15.5 15.5          Belgium 39       02-present
Jens Voigt 13.5 13.5          Germany 78       97-present
Filippo Pozzato 12.5 12.5          Italy 45       00-present
Joaquin Rodriguez 12.5 12.5          Spain 19       01-present
Frank Schleck 11.0 11.0          Luxembourg 21       00-present
Alessandro Ballan 10.5 10.5          Italy 12       04-present
Samuel Sanchez  8.5 8.5          Spain 27       04-present
Vincenzo Nibali 7.0 7.0          Italy 18       05-present
Tyler Farrar 6.5 6.5          USA 36       03-present

 

[update: 11/22/10 -  Claude Criquielion, Johan Van der Velde, and Pavel Tonkov added to the Top 100 list.  Thanks to Vlaanderen90 at Podium Cafe for catching their omission and calculating their point totals.]

The Top 25/50 Cyclists of the Modern Era, Mid year update, 2010

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 at 09:27PM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution in | Comments7 Comments

Forewarned, I’ve got a lot of pent up analysis, observations, and opinions. Grab an easy chair and a glass of smooth Cab; it’s time to chill out – this article is not one to be inhaled between Twitter posts and Facebook updates.

Here’s what's on tap: 1) the updated Top 25/50 rankings after the 2010 Tour de France, 2) the points earned in every race that is part of the scoring system from the beginning of the year through end the Tour, and 3) my observations and analysis.

Before I get to the updated rankings, I never want to assume that someone coming to this site is familiar with Top 25 Cyclists project, especially the scoring system that was developed to arrive at the standings/rankings.  The scoring methodology has been broken down into two major components: Scoring, Part 1 (the races) and Scoring, Part 2 (significant lifetime achievements and adjustments).  If you are a new visitor, I’d encourage you to view the entire series of articles that lead up to the official list.  Even if you are long time follower, you might want to go back and take a closer look at Scoring, Part 2.  Those “extra” points I’ve awarded are oftentimes a major contributing factor to cyclist’s rank.  I mention this because there are a few active cyclists who are pretty close to landing some big bonuses that could shoot them way up in standings.  Also, one of those Milestones may be in need of a slight adjustment in the next year or two… 

Rankings at the conclusion of the 2010 Tour de France

  1. Eddy Merckx  410.5
  2. Bernard Hinault  232.5           
  3. Fausto Coppi  219.5                       
  4. Gino Bartali  213.0                        
  5. Jacques Anquetil  184.0              
  6. Rik Van Looy  152.0                      
  7. Sean Kelly  146.5                          
  8. Roger De Vlaeminck  139.5           
  9. Francesco Moser  131.5                
  10. Lance Armstrong  116.5
  11. Felice Gimondi 114.0
  12. Louison Bobet  109.5    
  13. Miguel Indurain  98.0
  14. Freddy Maertens 97.5
  15. Ferdi Kubler  96.0
  16. Joop Zoetemelk 91.5
  17. Tony Rominger 89.5
  18. Laurent Jalabert 88.5
  19. Fiorenzo Magni  87.0
  20. Giuseppe Saronni  83.0
  21. Erik Zabel  81.0
  22. Rik Van Steenbergen 73.5
  23. Raymond Poulidor 69.0
  24. **Jan Janssen 65.0
  25. *Alberto Contador 65.0 (active)
  26. Greg LeMond 65.0   
  27. Mario Cipollini 63.5
  28. Luis Ocana  59.5
  29. Laurent Fignon  58.5
  30. Franco Bitossi  56.0
  31. Federico Bahamontes  55.5
  32. Paolo Bettini  55.0
  33. Charly Gaul  53.5
  34. Johan Museeuw  53.0
  35. Jan Ullrich  52.0
  36. Jan Raas  51.0
  37. Lucien Van Impe 50.0
  38. **Moreno Argentin  48.5
  39. Stephen Roche  48.5
  40. **Hugo Koblet  48.0
  41. Claudio Chiapucci  48.0   
  42. Gianni Bugno  47.5
  43. Alberic Schotte  46.5
  44. Alex Zulle  46.0
  45. Alessandro Petacchi  46.0 (active)
  46. Michele Bartoli  44.0
  47. Walter Godefroot  42.5
  48. Tom Boonen  42.0 (active)
  49. *Herman Van Springel  41.5
  50. Oscar Freire  41.5 (active)
  51. Charly Mottet  41.0
  52. ***Alejandro Valverde  40.0 (active)
  53. Fred De Bruyne  37.0
  54. Vittorio Adorni  36.5
  55. Fabian Cacellara  35.5 (active)
  56. Alexandre Vinokourov  35 (active)
  57. ***Danilo Di Luca 34.0 (active)
  58. Hennie Kuiper 31.5
  59. Marco Pantani  31.0
  60. **Rudi Altig  30.0
  61. Gilberto Simoni  30.0
  62. Roberto Heras, 28.0
  63. **Robbie McEwen 27 (active)
  64. Richard Virenque 27
  65. **, ***Davide Rebellin 26.0 (active)
  66. Damiano Cunego  26.0 (active)

The following do not have an official rank, but they do have calculated point totals (all active):

  • *Cadel Evans 25.0
  • Ivan Basso  25.0          
  • Denis Menchov  24.5
  • Carlos Sastre  23.5
  • Thor Hushovd  16.5
  • Andy Schleck  16.0
  • Mark Cavendish  15.5
  • Philippe Gilbert  13.5
  • Filippo Pozzato 12.0
  • Alessandro Ballan  9.5    

*Points tied, but higher raw score; **Points and raw score tied, but greater total career victories;  ***currently active, but suspended for doping violations  

You’ll notice a new name has been added, that of Roberto Heras.  I’m not exactly sure why I kept omitting him from prior lists.  I computed his totals nearly a year ago, but never added him to my ranking spreadsheet.  Anyhow, I always found it kind of strange that no teams were interested in signing him after his doping suspension was over. He was 34 at the time his sanction was up, a bit old perhaps to be given leadership of a team, but as a three-time Vuelta champion you’d think someone would have wanted to take a chance on him.  Plenty of other convicted dopers have returned to the peloton, so it’s weird how he just kind of disappeared from the scene.    

Scoring – The first half of the year

Since I’ve never done this before, I thought some of you might find it interesting to see the points earned on a month by month basis over the course of the season.  Below are the races, winners, and assigned points that are included in the scoring system.

February

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, formerly Het Volk (1 point), Juan Antonio Flecha

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (1 point), Bobbie Traksel

March

Paris-Nice (3 points), Alberto Contador

Tirreno-Adriatico (3 points), Stefano Garzelli

Milan-San Remo (3 points), Oscar Freire

Volta a Catalunya (3 points), Joaquin Rodriguez

Coppi y Bartali (2 points), Ivan Santaromita

Dwars Door Vlaanderen (1 point), Matti Breschel

Criterium International (2 points), Pierrick Fedrigo

GP E3 (1 point), Fabian Cancellara

Ghent-Wevelgem (2 points), Bernard Eisel

April

Tour of Flanders (3 points), Fabian Cancellara

Tour of the Basque Country (3 points), Chris Horner

Grote Scheldeprijs (1 point), Tyler Farrar

Paris-Roubaix (4 points) Fabian Cancellara

Brabantse Pijl (1 point) Sebastian Rosseler

Amstel Gold (2 points) Philippe Gilbert

Fleche Wallone (2 points) Cadel Evans

Liege-Bastogne-Liege (3 points), Alexandre Vinokourov

Tour of Romandie (3 points), Alejandro Valverde, Simon Spilak

May

Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop formerly Frankfurt GP (1 point), Fabian Wegmann

Giro d’Italia, Winner + 2 stages  (7 points)*, Ivan Basso

Giro d’Italia, 2nd (3 points), David Arroyo

Giro d’Italia, 3rd + 2 stages (2 points)*, Vincenzo Nibali

Giro d’Italia, Points + 1 stage (2.5 points), Cadel Evans

Giro d’Italia, Mountains + 1 stage (2.5 points), Matthew Lloyd

Giro d’Italia, stage wins, Tyler Farrar (2 stages, 1 point), Bradley Wiggins, Wouter Weylandt, Jerome Pineau, Chris Anker Sorensen, Matthew Goss, Evgeni Petrov, Filippo Pozzato, Manuel Belletti, Stefano Garzelli, Damien Monnier, Andre Greipel, Michele Scarponi, Johan Tschopp, Gustav Larrson (all 1 stage, .5 point)   

Tour of Belgium (2 points), Stijn Devolder

4 Days of Dunkirk (2 points), Martin Elminger

*Includes Team Time Trial victory

June

Tour of Luxembourg (2 points), Matteo Carrara

Criterium du Dauphine (3 points), Janez Brajkovic

GP des Kantons Aargau formerly Gippengen GP (1 point), Kristof  Vandewalle

Tour of Switzerland (3 points), Frank Schlek

July

Tour de France, Winner (8 points), Alberto Contador  

Tour, 2nd + 2 stages (5 points), Andy Schleck    

Tour, 3rd (2 points), Denis Menchov

Tour, Points Classification + 2 stages (3 points), Alessandro Petacchi

Tour, Mountains Classification (2 points), Anthony Charteau

Tour, Stage wins, Mark Cavendish (5 stages, 2.5 points), Sylvain Chavanel (2 stages, 1 point), Thor Hushovd, Sandy Casar, Sergio Paulhino, Joaquin Rodriguez, Alexandre Vinokourov, Christophe Riblon, Thomas Voeckler, Pierrick Fedrigo (all 1 stage, .5 point)    

Clasica San Sebastian (2 points), Luis Leon Sanchez 

Again, for those interested to know why I chose those particular races, and the points assigned to each, Scoring, Part 1 will provide my rational.

Observations, Analysis, and Opinion

With the Tour, Giro and the spring Classics now complete, my initial take on the season so far is that it has been one of the best in many years.  I don’t have any concrete numbers or criteria to back up this sentiment, but I can’t help but feel that something has subtly changed this year – a sense that we’ve started to return to the decades of the 50s-80s.  I hate to bring up the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but could it possibly be that the sport is finally starting to extricate itself from EPO era?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that oxygen vector doping has magically been eradicated from the peloton this year.  There is ample evidence to the contrary, and I’m no longer surprised by anything, but I hold out hope that our sport is on the rebound.  Am I being overly optimistic? Maybe you folks can share your thoughts in the comments section.   

Ranked Cyclists      

Lance Armstong (#10, position unchanged) – Lance version 2.0 is done. I think the high point of his comeback was not his third place in the Tour last year, but rather his performance at the Tour of Flanders this spring. It’s truly a shame that we didn’t get to see more of the man at single day races throughout his career.  After his sixth Tour win, I wish he would have focused on different objectives, and I hope Contador doesn’t follow in his footsteps. Do I think Armstrong rates up there with the other great champions like Merckx, Hinault, Coppi, Bartali, and Anquetil?  Physically and mentally, I’d have to say yes, but his palmares say otherwise. I find it amusing that every July the fan forums are rampant with the same tired debate – who is the greatest of all time, Merckx or Armstrong?  It’s a ridiculous argument.  Lance is in the #10 spot for a very good reason – he just didn’t race enough. He could have won 10 straight Tours, and still wouldn’t have come within 200 points of Eddy.  Lastly, so it doesn’t appear that I’m ignoring the whole the whole Floyd Landis situation, do I think Lance used PEDs? Yes.  If it is ever proven to be true, it doesn’t mean I’m going to alter the standings; I don’t subtract points for doping infractions unless the UCI decides to alter race results.     

Alberto Contador (moves from #29 to #25) - “El Pistolero” has joined the ranks of the all-time greats, and has cracked the Top 25 list; the first to do so since Erik Zabel in 2003.  Although tied on points with Greg LeMond, Alberto bumps him out of the Top 25 by virtue of his greater raw score (points earned without special adjustments). Also on tied on points with Bert is Jan Janssen, and although they do share the same raw score, “The Professor” (yes, there was another besides Laurent Fignon) stays ahead of Contador due to his greater number of total career victories.  If Alberto can continue to win at his current pace for the remainder of his career, he has a shot at catching Jacques Anquetil (#5).  Of course, at this stage of the game such comparisons are a bit premature, but consider that Anquetil was already 29 by the time he’d won his 5th GT, yet Contador is only 27. Although he has declined to ride in the upcoming Vuelta, it is somewhat refreshing to hear Bert say that he will target two Grand Tours next year.  Earlier he suggested that he would ride the Giro, but I have my doubts.  The more probable scenario is the Tour/Vuelta combo.      

Alessandro Petacchi (moves from #46 to #45) - Just when I  thought “Ale-Jet” was through making any further progress in the Top 50, Alessandro Petacchi snagged two stages in the Tour, and pulled the big surprise by grabbing the Points Classification.  Those three extra points he picked up moved him up one spot, jumping past Michele Bartoli.  With an ugly doping investigation hanging over his head, could this be Ale-Jet’s last hurrah? 

Fabian Cancellara (#55, position unchanged) - “Spartacus” continued to march toward his inevitable date with the Top 50 by adding another point to his impressive tally this year (9, so far) by capturing both time trials in this year’s Tour.  Can he make it the Top 25 by the end of his career? Well, if he can trim some weight, there’s no reason he couldn’t vie for victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Lombardia. If he somehow manages to win to win all five Monuments, I think we’ll see him in the Top 25, as there is a huge 15 point bonus for capturing all five of the major Classics.  

Alexandre Vinokourov (#56, position unchanged) – Vino added another half point to his tally with his Tour stage win.  He’s another one I’d thought was done making progress, but like Petacchi, he continues to surprise.  Will Vino lead Astana at the Vuelta and attempt his 3rd Grand Tour of the year?  He’s only 6.5 points away from Oscar Freire (#50), so it is possible he can reach Top 50 before he retires, which I thought was nearly impossible at the beginning of the year.

Tom Boonen, Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, and Damiano Cunego all stay where they are, as none scored points since the last published rankings.

Alejandro Valverde, Danilo Di Luca, and Davide Rebellin are all serving suspensions.  Rebellin will be 39 this month, so I can’t imagine he’ll ever be racing again.  

On the rise, but unranked****(see my explanation below to understand why only 66 cyclists receive a numerical ranking)

Cadel Evans (25 points, unchanged) - Although Evans didn’t add any points to his totals in the Tour, he certainly road like a champion, and deserves a point or two just for making it to Paris.  His tenure in the Rainbow Stripes has been one for the ages, and I have a future article planned in which I’ll be reviewing his amazing year.  Also, another few points and Cadel will pass Australia's best scorer ever, Robbie McEwen.

Ivan Basso (25 points, unchanged) - Basso’s Giro netted him seven big points, and he is now slightly ahead of Menchov, and has pulled even with Evans on points.  His Giro win clearly left him a tired man in France, so I bet he skips racing his home tour next year to focus on the Tour – not a bad idea, since Contador mentioned he may want to add another Italian Grand Tour to his growing collection of three week races.  As an aside, I find it hilarious that Basso’s wiki page lists his nickname as “Ivan the Terrible.” Really, someone has to come up with something better, because that one just doesn’t fit the guy.

Denis Menchov (added 2 points, new total 24.5).  Once again, I managed to screw up the point totals for a big name rider - I neglected to record Menchov’s two stage wins in last year’s Giro, and to add insult to injury, also forgot to record a Vuelta stage win; that’s 1.5 additional points. To this, Denis added another couple of points with his third place in the Tour. Since the “Silent Assassin” didn’t compete in the Giro, you’d have to consider him one of the front runners at the Vuelta.  I’ll have to admit, I was expecting Menchov to implode at some point in the Pyreness, but he hung tough.  Had this year’s Tour featured the usual amount of time trialing, he might well have won.  What if the next parcours features less climbing, and there are the two traditional time trials?  Menchov would have to be considered one of the favorites, and should he win, he’d join a pretty exclusive club of cyclists to have won all three GTs. He’d rocket up the standings, leaping into the Top 50.      

Andy Schleck (added 5 points, new total 16) – Andy had an amazing Tour by finishing second overall and winning two stages.  Over the course of the next couple of years it will be interesting to see if we will have another legendary rivalry on our hands.  It seems like a foregone conclusion that the younger Schleck is destined to win a Grand Tour one day, but as far as points are concerned, even if Andy can one day beat Contador, I don’t think he’ll be able to climb the standings nearly as quickly as the Spaniard.  It’s not that he doesn’t have the talent, but he’ll have to be willing to target races outside of the Ardennes Classics and the Tour each year.      

Mark Cavendish (added 2.5 points, new total 15.5) – Is he the fastest sprinter ever? I certainly wouldn’t bet against the “Manx Missile” in a two-up sprint against any of the sport’s legendary speedsters, Mario Cipollini included. Barring something unforeseen, Cav is on the fast track to racking up 30 Grand Tour stages; he’s already got 21. If he does, his achievement will have an impact at the very head of the rankings – the order among the Top 5 will change. We may have to wait a couple of years to see the effects, but all I’ll say for now is that the bonuses awarded for “Significant Lifetime Milestone Adjustments” are subject to change (see Scoring, Part 2); this is due to the number of cyclists that qualify for a particular Milestone.      

****Many have asked why a particular cyclist does not have a numerical rank.  For example, where does Pedro Delgado rank versus Carlos Sastre?  The truth is I simply don’t know.  I did calculate Pedro’s totals at one time, and going from memory his score was in the low 20s.  I keep this thick binder with manual tallies of a cyclist’s victories broken down by the various categories of races; these pages are what I call the scoring sheets (by the way, Merckx needed several). The problem is that until late last year I didn’t even bother creating a sheet/page for someone unless they had racked up at least 26 points, or were an active rider and might get close to that number (i.e. Sastre).  Once a rider hits my cutoff number, I then add them to a spreadsheet, and only at that point are they assigned a numerical rank.  Currently, Damiano Cunego is the cutoff guy, and he sits at #66.  

Okay gang, that’s about it for now.  The next update to the rankings will probably be sometime after the end of the season.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

VeloCast + Interview

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 09:46AM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution | Comments1 Comment

This is long overdue, but I’d like to draw your attention to my favorite cycling podcast, VeloCast. Of course, the fact that I was interviewed for a spot in one of their programs has nothing to do with this glowing endorsement.  Kidding aside, John and Scott are knowledgeable, passionate fans of the sport, and have real gift for their craft. Please give a listen, and help support them if you can (you can subscribe to the podcast for $1 weekly, or make a flat donation).

Many of you may not know that I’m also a professional bike fitter, and John’s interview - about 20 minutes long - covers both the Top 25 Cyclists project, but also touches on the craft of bicycle fitting.  I was featured in episode 70 at about the 54 minute. Here is a link to the podcast with my interview. 

Top 25/50 End of Year Update, 2009

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 03:21PM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution in | Comments8 Comments

#1 Eddy Merckx at the height of his powers, 1973Loyal readers I have not abandoned you.  I have every intention of continuing to update this site, but I'd be lying if I said it would be much more than a few times a year, at least for the foreseeable future.  The goal is to try to update the Top 25/50 Cyclists of the Modern Era project on the following schedule: after the Spring Classics, after the Giro and Tour, and at the end of the season.    

I do have a couple of book reviews I'll be getting to shortly - Custom Bicycles:  A Passionate Pursuit by Christine Elliott and David Jablonka, and The Competition Bicycle:  A Photographic History by Jan Heine.  Both are excellent coffee table books and would be great choices as gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Stay tuned...(hopefully, full reviews will be out early in December).

For those of you new to this site, the rest of this article is going to make a lot more sense having first familiarized yourself with the scoring system I've developed to rank the greatest riders from the Modern Era.  Scoring, Part 1 can be found here; Scoring, part 2 can be found here, and if you'd like to read every article in the entire series, you can link here.     

So, let's take a look at the end of the year rankings and point totals:
 
1.   Eddy Merckx  410.5
2.   Bernard Hinault 232.5
3.   Fausto Coppi 219.5
4.   Gino Bartali  213.0
5.   Jacques Anquetil  184.0
6.   Rik Van Looy  152.0
7.   Sean Kelly  146.5
8.   Roger De Vlaeminck  139.5
9.   Francesco Moser  131.5
10.  Lance Armstrong  116.5
11.  Felice Gimondi  114.0
12.  Louison Bobet  109.5
13.  Miguel Indurain  98.0
14.  Freddy Maertens  97.5
15.  Ferdi Kubler  96.0
16.  Joop Zoetemelk  91.5
17.  Tony Rominger  89.5
18.  Laurent Jalabert  88.5
19.  Fiorenzo Magni  87.0
20.  Giuseppe Saronni  83.0
21.  Erik Zabel  81.0
22.  Rik Van Steenbergen  73.5
23.  Raymond Poulidor  69.0
24.  Jan Janssen  65.0
25.  Greg LeMond  65.0
26.  Mario Cipollini  63.5
27.  Luis Ocana  59.5
28.  Laurent Fignon  58.5
#32 "The Angel of the Mountains," Charly Gaul29.  Franco Bitossi  56.0
30.  Federico Bahamontes  55.5
31.  Paolo Bettini  55.0
32.  Charly Gaul  53.5
33.  Johan Museeuw  53.0
34.  Jan Ullrich   52.0
35.  Alberto Contador  52.0
36.  Jan Raas 51.0
37.  Lucien Van Impe  50.0
38.  Moreno Argentin  48.5
39.  Stephen Roche  48.5
40.  Hugo Koblet  48.0
41.  Claudio Chiapucci  48.0
42.  Gianni Bugno  47.5
43.  Alberic Schotte  46.5
44.  Alex Zulle 46.0
45.  Michele Bartoli  44.0
46.  Alessandro Petacchi  43.0
47.  Walter Godefroot  42.5
48.  Tom Boonen  42.0
49.  Herman Van Springel  41.5
50.  Charly Mottet  41.0

Active Top 50

#9 Francesco Moser, "The Sheriff" (Paris-Roubaix 1979)What's changed since the last list?  First, Lance Armstrong has now taken sole possession of 10th place, 2.5 points ahead of Felice Gimondi, thanks to his 3rd place in this year's Tour.  Even if he hadn't reached the podium, Astana's victory in the Team Time Trial provided the needed half point necessary to move ahead of Gimondi.

So, what would Lance need to do next year in order to overtake both Francesco Moser and Roger De Vlaeminck, who are just ahead of him in the rankings (#9 and #8), but more important, a whopping 15 and 23 points distant.  Well, nothing short of a Tour victory is going to gain him the needed points.  Here's how it could theoretically work: a win in the Tour would give Lance eight more points, but would also give him a huge 15 point bonus for joining the likes of Jacques Anquetil, Eddie Merckx, and Bernard Hinault, all of whom achieved the rare feat of winning eight or more Grand Tours.  Armstrong would then need another half point to get to the #8 spot, so he would also need a stage win to go along with the Tour victory.  Whew.  That's a whole lot of ifs, ands, and maybes, but hey, it could be done.  I should point out that Armstrong could get that same 15 point bonus for winning either the Giro or Vuelta, but since he will be skipping the Giro for the Tour of California (so he says), and there isn't a chance in hell he's going to do the Vuelta after the Tour, it's pretty safe to say that next year's Tour is going to be the only GT in Lance's near future. 

Of course, the biggest mover on the list continues to be Alberto Contador.  With his Tour victory he has now jumped from #47 to #35.  Should he have another big year in 2010, he'll be the first cyclist since Miguel Indurain to string together three 12+ point seasons.  Alberto is also poised to make the jump into the Top 25 at the ripe old age of 27; this after effectively losing his entire first season due to a life threatening cerebral cavernoma.  It also worth considering that #5 Jacques Anquetil. Year unkown.he was prevented from participating in both the 2006 and 2008 Tour de France due to the doping problems surrounding both his teams at the time (Liberty Seguros and Astana).  What happened in '08 actually helped him - Astana's exclusion from that Tour forced Alberto to participate in, and win, both the Giro and Vuelta, and in the process he gained a 12 point bonus for having won all three Grand Tours.  One thing is certain - if he continues to win at his current pace, and he can avoid injury, he should be able to get close to Jacques Anquetil in point totals.  Alberto is primed to go on a point tear the likes we haven't seen since Bernard Hinault.  Enjoy the ride folks, this is history in the making, and it may be an awful long time before we see another cyclist who possesses both the ability and the will to win any stage race entered - spring, summer, or fall. 

Petacchi's point total remains unchanged.  With his switch from LPR to Lampre, he should be at more marquee events next year, and be better supported.  That said, he'll be 36 in January, well past the prime years of a sprinter.  I could see him gather another couple of points before he retires, but his place as one of the greatest sprint specialists in the sport has already been secured.  It will be interesting to see if Mark Cavendish can continue with his winning ways, and maybe one day join some of the other all-time great fast men in the Top 50.

Lastly, Tom Boonen added one more point to his total with his win at the Belgian National Championships in June, beating out Philippe Gilbert. "Tommeke" has now moved up two spots, jumping over both Charly Mottet and Herman Van Springel to occupy position #48. If he can possibly put his "out of competition" troubles behind him, and get back to his prolific winning ways, then he has a good shot of making the Top 25 before the end of his career.  He just turned 29 in October, has been a professional for 7 years, and has been averaging 6 points per year.  He's on pace for an 84 point career, which would put him up there with some of the best ever.      

On the Bubble

So here's what spots 50-65 look like right now:

#54 Vittorio Adorni. Year unknown.51.  Alejandro Valverde  40.0
52.  Oscar Freire  38.5
53.  Fred De Bruyne  37.0
54.  Vittorio Adorni  36.5
55.  Danilo Di Luca  34.0
56.  Hennie Kuiper  31.5
57.  Alexander Vinokourov 31.5
58.  Marco Pantani  31.0
59.  Rudi Altig  30.0
60.  Gilberto Simoni 30.00
61.  Robbie McEwen 27.0
62.  Richard Virenque  27.0
63.  Fabian Cancellara  26.0
64.  Davide Rebellin  26.0
65.  Damiano Cunego  26.0

Unless Alejandro Valverde's suspension for his DNA ties to the Puerto blood bags is extended outside of Italy, he looks poised to make the jump into the Top 50 list.  The points he picked up by winning this year's Vuelta now have him occupying spot #51, just one point away from overtaking Charly Mottet.  Well, maybe. This is a sticky situation, because if CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) rules against "The Green Bullet," the UCI could then move to retroactively extend his ban from racing beyond Italy, and in turn strip him of any victories earned since May 2009 (the date of the original Italian suspension).  Not only could Valverde lose the points from the Vuelta, but also from this year's Dauphine Libere (for a combined total of 7).  Should that happen, Cadel Evans would find himself the recipient of some additional points.  Thank you, UCI.  You've made a fine mess out this one. 

#52 Oscar Freire. Unbelievably, I had forgotten to include Oscar Freire in my original calculations.  He only needs 3 points to make the jump to Top 50, but who knows with Oscar?  He had a rather anonymous season, but he seems to do that sort of thing on a regular basis - long spells without any results, then he comes out of nowhere to capture a major victory.  Injuries have plagued him throughout his career, and had he been healthy for any length of time, I'm sure he would already have made the list.  Anyway, I wouldn't bet against "Oscarito," but sprinters at the age of 34 tend to have fewer and fewer opportunities - just ask Alessandro Petacchi and Robbie McEwen.

Yes, he's back.  Alexander Vinokourov has returned, and he looks to be in pretty decent physical shape, as well.  I wouldn't put it past this guy to land another big victory, or grab some stage wins.  Is he going to make the Top 50?  Not likely. 

In other pleasant developments, Danilo Di Luca is done, along with Davide Rebellin, both with forced early retirements due to their doping violations. Goodbye and good riddance.  I suppose Di Luca could try to return when his suspension is over, but he will be 35 at the time.  Rebellin is 38, so it's safe to say that he is officially through with racing.

As of today, Gilberto Simoni still hasn't signed with a team for next year.  Even if he does, a stage win or two may be about all we'll see from him, and then he'll probably retire after the Giro.

Robbie McEwen is another one of the aging sprinters who had an anonymous, albeit injury plagued, season.  At age 37 Robbie is the oldest among the trio of elder of fast men that includes Freire and Petacchi.  This year was the first since 2005 that the "Pocket Rocket" didn't win Paris-Brussels, breaking his string of four consecutive victories, a record for the prestigious event which saw its first edition held way back in 1893.  At this stage of the game, there's simply not enough time for McEwen to reach Top 50.

#63 Fabian Cancellara. "Sparticus" in action at the '09 Tour of Switzerland.So, along with Valverde and Freire, that leaves Fabian Cancellara and Damiano Cunego as the most likely candidates to move into Top 50 by the end of their careers, as both have decent point totals and are entering their prime years.  Do I think either can make it to the Top 25?  Probably not, since Cance will be 29 next March, has been a professional since 2001, and has scored roughly three points per year on average.  Assuming he rides for another eight seasons, he's on target for a 50 point career.  Now, this could change significantly if he should do something truly remarkable, like win all five of the Monuments and gain a 15 point bonus.  Since "Spartacus" has already won Milan-San Remo, and Paris-Roubaix, I would guess that the next likely Monument victory would come in Flanders.  If he could trim a little weight, and be willing to sacrifice some of his TT power, I bet he could make a run at both Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Lombardia.  Maybe he'll focus on those after he makes his bid for the hour record. 

As for Cunego, he turned 28 in September, has been a professional since 2002, and has also averaged around three points per season.  Like Cancellara, he looks to be on target for a 50 point career, but unlike Fabian, I can't see him in with a shot at all the Monuments, especially Flanders and Roubaix.  Since by his own admission he's no longer a man for the GC in Grand Tours, "The Little Prince" is going to have to win a few more of the Minor Tours (i.e. Tours of the Basque Country, Romandy, or Switzerland) if he's going to have a shot at Top 25.  I just don't see him getting there with stage wins and single day races from here on out.

Valverde, Cancellara, and Cunego all go to illustrate how extremely difficult, and rare, it is to rack up enough points to reach the Top 25.  These are all big champions of today's race scene, and although all of them will more than likely have a few huge seasons ahead of them, it is pretty easy to do the math and realize that it's going to take something very special for even one of these cyclists to reach the Top 25.  

The Best of the Rest

I've had some emails over the past few months asking me about the point totals of some of the other stars of the current peloton.  I don't start actually looking at a cyclist's specific rank until they get close to 30 points, but for what it's worth, here are the point totals for some of today's big names:

Philippe Gilbert. All smiles after capturing the '09 Lombardia.Carlos Sastre  23.5
Denis Menchov  21
Cadel Evans  20.5
Ivan Basso 18.5
Thor Hushovd 16
Mark Cavendish 13
Filippo Pozzato 11.5
Philippe Gilbert 11.5
Andy Schlek 11
Alessandro Ballan 9.5

So, that's the end of season wrap for the Top 25/50 Cyclists of the Modern Era.  Please let me know if there is anyone you think I've overlooked, past or present, as over the last year I've managed to make some pretty big mistakes with both Petacchi and Freire.  Sorry for the confusion, but you can always ask for a refund...

Thanks for tuning in.  

Photo credits:  Eddy Merckx and Sean Kelly, Wiki Commons; Charly Gaul, Memoire du Cyclisme; Francesco Moser, Infostradasports; Jacques Anquetil, Pez/CorVos; Vittorio Adorni, Vittorio Adorni Gran Fondo; Oscar Freire, TopNews.in; Fabian Canellara, CyclingFans/Sirotti; Philippe Gilbert, Telegraph.co.uk

BīkFit + Grand Tour Stage Win Champions + Top 50 updates

Posted on Friday, June 26, 2009 at 02:25PM by Registered CommenterFitTechEric at VeloFit Revolution in | Comments12 Comments

I'm sorry for being away for so long, but I've been hard at work on another cycling related project - Southern California based BīkFit, a mobile bike fitting service dedicated to road cyclists.  In addition to bike fits, we'll also be selling bikes made by some of the world's most prestigious custom frame builders (Tommasini, Zinn, Kish, Naked, RR Velo).  Anyway, if you happen to be in the SoCal area, and you'd like to get a comprehensive road bike fit, I'd love to hear from you. Details on our pricing and services can be found at our website: BīkFit.com. You can also find a permanent link located in the left hand column.

Alberto Contador; "El Pistolero" I'll have to admit that after completing The Top 25 Cyclists of the Modern Era, I needed a bit of a break. The project took nearly a year to complete, and its still a long way from being done. The vast majority of the research is finished, but all the rider biographies have yet to be written. At this point, I'm thinking that since this whole thing has grown into something much larger than I'd originally planned, maybe the project is better served by a large coffee table style of book with loads of statistics, race results, photos, and such. I don't know the first thing about undertaking such an endeavor, so if there is anyone in the book publishing industry (are you listening VeloPress) that could give me some guidance, I'd be all ears.

Alessandro "Ale-Jet" PetacchiSince March of this year, when I published the original Top 50 list, there has been some jostling at the low end of the rankings. Both Tom Boonen and Alberto Contador have added to their point totals - "Tommeke" with his win in Paris-Roubaix and "El Pistolero" with his win in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country). Alberto moved up one spot, and now occupies the 47th position, but Tom actually move down one spot to #50.

Since Boonen dropped a spot, that would imply that  there is somebody new to the list who is still active and jumped over him.  Here's what happened: I made a mistake in assigning the original point totals to Alessandro Petacchi, and it was a big one. "Ale-Jet" is one of only seven cyclists to have won 30 or more Grand Tour stages. He joins all the following legends in the accomplishment with his 44 (and counting) Grand Tour stage victories:

  • Fausto Coppi with 31 stage wins (this despite WWII interrupting his career for five years)
  • Rik Van Looy with 38
  • Edddy Merckx with 65
  • Freddy Maertens with 35
  • Bernard Hinault with 41
  • Mario Cipollini with 57

Freddy MaertensBased on my Significant Lifetime Achievement bonus points (as outlined in Scoring- Part 2), Petacchi was shorted 10 points on my previous list. He has also added to his total by winning this year's Grote Scheldeprijs (Grand Prix de l'Escaut), Giro di Toscana (Tour of Tuscany), and two stages of the Giro. Petacchi now stands at number 45, and could conceivably move up quite a few spots before he retires. My apologies to Ale-Jet and his fans.

I should also mention that Alejandro Valverde made some progress with his wins at both the Volta a Catalunya and Dauphine Libere, and he now stands at #53.  They could be the last points Valverde will score for a couple of years, depending on whether or not his suspension in Italy for his Puerto ties is extended elsewhere.  I think it safe to say Gilberto Simoni isn't going crack the Top 50 list before the end of his career; I just don't see where he is going to possibly acquire an additional 11 points, as this year's Giro was probably his last chance to grab big points. Lastly, this year's Tour may be the last best chance for Lance Armstrong to take sole possession of 10th place from Felice Gimondi, which Big Tex will do with even a single stage win (which will include the TTT). That said, even should Lance outright win the Tour, he still won't be able to overhaul Franceso Moser in the #9 spot (for a full explanation of race points see Scoring - Part 1).

Anyway, here is the mid-season Top 50 Cyclists of the Modern Era and their point totals (with places 51-57 added, so you can see who's on the bubble). I'll update the list again at the end of the season.

Alejandro Valverde; "The Green Bullet"1. Eddy Merckx 410.5
2. Bernard Hinault 232.5
3. Fausto Coppi 219.5
4. Gino Bartali 213.0
5. Jacques Anquetil 184.0
6. Rik Van Looy 152.0
7. Sean Kelly 146.5
8. Roger De Vlaeminck 139.5
9. Francesco Moser 131.5
10. Felice Gimondi 114.0
11. Lance Armstrong 114.0
12. Louison Bobet 109.5
13. Miguel Indurain 98.0
14. Freddy Maertens 97.5
15. Ferdi Kubler 96.0
16. Joop Zoetemelk 91.5
17. Tony Rominger 89.5
18. Laurent Jalabert 88.5
19. Fiorenzo Magni 87.0
20. Giuseppe Saronni 83.0
21. Erik Zabel 81.0
22. Rik Van Steenbergen 73.5
23. Raymond Poulidor 69.0
24Gilberto Simoni. Jan Janssen 65.0
25. Greg LeMond 65.0
26. Mario Cipollini 63.5
27. Luis Ocana 59.5
28. Laurent Fignon 58.5
29. Franco Bitossi 56.0
30. Federico Bahamontes 55.5
31. Paolo Bettini 55.0
32. Charly Gaul 53.5
33. Johan Museeuw 53.0
34. Jan Ullrich 52.0
35. Jan Raas 51.0
36. Lucien Van Impe 50.0
37. Moreno Argentin 48.5
38. Stephen Roche 48.5
39. Hugo Koblet 48.0
40. Claudio Chiapucci 48.0
41. Gianni Bugno 47.5
42. Alberic Schotte 46.5
43. Alex Zulle 46.0
44. Michele Bartoli 44.0
45. Alessandro Petacchi 43.0
46. Walter Godefroot 42.5
47. Alberto Contador 42.5
48. Herman Van Springel 41.5
49. Charly Mottet 41.0
50. Tom Boonen 41.0
51. Fred De Bruyne 37.0
52. Vittorio Adorni 36.5
53. Alejandro Valverde 36.0
54. Hennie Kuiper 31.5
55. Marco Pantani 31.0
56. Rudi Altig 30.0
57. Gilberto Simoni 30.0

Photo credits:  Alberto Contador, Flikr gallery of Jesus Ezkerra;  Alessandro Petacchi, Yahoo News; Freddy Maertens, Flikr gallery of Karolus Linus; Alejandro Valverde,  feltet.dk; Gilberto Simoni, Tour-de-france.cz  

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